7 Must-Try Restaurants in St. Louis

After spending 4 years here in St. Louis for school, I’ve been able to scope out a lot of amazing restaurants in the area. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, these are a few must try places. St. Louis restaurants offer such a wide variety of food and drinks that you shouldn’t miss!

Russell’s Cafe

Photo Courtesy of http://www.stlmag.com

Ever since my freshman year at SLU, Russell’s has been my all-time favorite brunch spot. I personally go to the Macklind location and it is amazing. I’m absolutely in love with their rustic decor, and the service and food are great! They do breakfast, brunch/lunch, and even dinner! They have a wide variety of foods on the menu, and everything I’ve tried, I’ve absolutely loved. You really can’t go wrong. My favorite thing on the menu is their baked oatmeal with coconut milk. Thanks Russell’s, for being my go-to since day-one.

Salt + Smoke

Photo Courtesy of http://www.midwestliving.com

Salt + Smoke is a quintessential Midwestern barbecue place that you can’t miss! Their meat is amazing, but their side dishes are also great! They offer a wide variety of flavored bourbon, whiskey, and scotch, along with a few different types of barbecue sauce. My personal favorite thing to get is their pulled chicken plate with a double side of green beans and a popover. All of it is so good that you’ll be craving it for years to come!

Corner 17

Photo Courtesy of http://www.feastmagazine.com

Oh, Corner 17. How poor you’ve made me. I’m not usually one for Chinese food (or at least not American “Chinese food”). But this place offers authentic Chinese dishes and drinks and they are to die for! This is another place that I’ve been going to since freshman year, and I go a lot. It’s always exactly what I’m in the mood for. They have light veggie-packed dishes, savory meat dishes, and humongous filling soups. They offer spicy, salty, sweet, you name it. The noodles in their dishes are made on-site (hand-pulled and hand-shaved), in a room made of glass windows so the guests can watch. They also have a wide variety of boba teas and other authentic Chinese desserts. My favorite(s) (couldn’t pick one) are the hand-pulled noodle soup with chicken, the veggie delight, and the veggie/chicken fried rice. To end on a sweet note, I usually get a matcha boba tea with soy milk and 25% sweetened. (They offer 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% based on how sweet you’d like your drink.)

Lulu’s Local Eatery

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Photo Courtesy of luluslocaleatery Instagram

The first time I went here was as a sophomore. I knew it was a 100% vegan place and I’ll admit I was a little curious/nervous to see what their options were. I ended up getting their sweet potato falafel that came on a warm pita topped with tzatziki and greens. It was so so amazing. I couldn’t believe what they had made while being restricted to only vegan foods. It was truly incredible. One of my favorite things about Lulu’s is their dedication to sustainability. They compost or recycle 95% of their waste, use all compostable materials, use local produce whenever possible, and grow their own herbs on their back patio. Even if you’re not vegan, you will definitely find something you’ll love at Lulu’s.

Kaldi’s Coffee

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Ah, Kaldi’s. Such a classic Georgia study spot. I can usually be spotted in a seat by the window clutching my matcha latte and deep in thought about something nutrition-related. I’ve never considered myself what some would call a “coffee snob,” but Kaldi’s has definitely added coffee to my list of “only the finer things in life.” Other coffee places don’t even compare to the quality of their coffees and matcha lattes. Fortunately, many local St. Louis spots have caught on to this and Kaldi’s is now served in almost every brunch spot in town. I even buy their beans so I can have it at home any time I want. They also have delicious food with fresh options ranging from healthy, veggie-packed dishes to extravagant sweet treats. I’ll take some of each please!

Cafe Osage (Bowood Farms)

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Photo Courtesy of cafeosage Instagram

I’ve only been to Cafe Osage once unfortunately. (This is because of my tendency to repeatedly go back to the places I’ve already tried and loved… But then I inevitably miss out on new places…) But anyway, I’m hoping to make up for lost time by visiting this place as many times as I can with my time left in St. Louis. They offer a bunch of different breakfast and lunch options, many of which use seasonal and fresh ingredients straight from their garden. When I went, I got the “Osage Burger” which is made with grass-fed beef and served with lettuce, tomato jam, and a side salad. The entire meal was so good and I can’t wait to go back!

Lola Jean’s Coffee

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Photo Courtesy of lolajeansstl Instagram

This is another place that I’ve only been to once, and it was actually last week! But it’s definitely a place I’ll be returning to again and again. Lola Jean’s is one of the newest spots in town, opened only last July. I had heard a lot about it from my roommate and other friends, telling me I had to try this place. Lola Jean’s is actually owned by Russell Ping, who also owns Russell’s! So I knew it was going to be good. The moment I walked in the door, I was in love. They had vine plants lining the ceiling and some swooping down into the seating area. I took a seat at the counter that faced the a huge window, right next to a huge jar of pink flowers. They serve Kaldi’s coffee (of course) and many delicious brunch and pastry options. But what makes this place really unique is that each week they donate 100% of their profit to a different charity. How cool is that?! Not only are you enjoying their amazing food, drinks, and ambiance, but you also know that your money is going towards a good cause.

Now, hopefully you’ll have more than enough options the next time you’re in the St. Louis area. And maybe you’ll even be able to try all of these! You really will not be disappointed!

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